U.S., Israel concerned about Iran’s influence in West Asia: ex-diplomat

July 25, 2020 - 18:11

TEHRAN — The United States and Israel are concerned about Iran’s influence in West Asia, says a former Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman.

The American and Israeli officials feel that their plans for the region have no result, Ramin Mehmanparast said in an interview with ILNA published on Saturday.

Referring to the recent incidents to Mahan Air passenger plane, the ex-diplomat added, “In order to keep the Islamic Republic of Iran away from the region, they do not even hesitate to threaten our passenger planes.”

Mehmanparast, who also served as Iran’s ambassador to Poland, said, “They shaped the biggest anti-human terrorist movement in our region; we will not forget the crimes committed by Daesh group (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.”

He said the presidential election in the U.S. is approaching fast “and Trump is not in a strong position due to his failed policies in the regional and domestic sectors, including the fight against coronavirus, as well as the racist debate that he and his friends have supported.”

So Washington is trying to divert the public opinion from realities, he added.

Kazem Gharib Abadi, Iran's ambassador to the Vienna-based international organizations, said on Friday that threatening ordinary people, including children and women, to achieve political gains is the dirtiest kind of politics that will surely fail.

Mahan Air passenger plane was en route to Beirut, Lebanon, when it was threatened by two military jets. The pilot of the Iranian plane has said when he was talking to the pilots of the fighter jets to ask them to keep their distance, to which they replied that they were “American”.

On Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said a protest had been lodged with the International Civil Aviation Organization – a UN agency – and the Swiss embassy in Tehran that handles U.S. affairs in Iran since ties were cut in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The United Nations also urged all countries to respect the safety of civilian air travel, without referring to the United States.

“As a matter of, of principle, the safety of civilian air travel should be respected by all,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric during a daily press briefing on Friday, when he was asked about the incident.

Dujarric stressed that the world body had “no specific information on that incident” yet, adding that what he said about the safety of civilian air travel was “just a principled position”.

“I don’t have any [information], at this point, we don’t have any specific information on this incident,” he further said.

“I checked with my colleagues in Montreal at ICAO [International Civil Aviation Organization]. They have nothing. They have not received anything as of yet,” Dujarric added.


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